MEDIA PARTNER

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

ARCHIVE  •  2007  •  SUN 17  •  MON 18  •  WED 20  •  FRI 22  •  SUN 24

Sherman Library & Gardens, Central Patio Room, 8 p.m.

Music in the Gardens I
Love and Civic Pride

Jennifer Foster, soprano
Jonathan Mack, tenor
Aram Barsamian, baritone
Elizabeth Blumenstock, violin
Jolianne von Einem, violin
Rob Diggins, viola
William Skeen, violoncello
Paul Sherman, oboe
Timothy Howard, harpsichord
Burton Karson, conductor
 


Johann David Heinichen (1683-1729)
Concerto in G
for oboe

Allegro
Adagio
Allegro


Johann Sebastian Bach (1685-1750)
Amore Traditore, BWV 203
for baritone & harpsichord

Aria: Amore traditore, tu non m’inganni piu

Ah, Love, thou base deceiver, of thee at last I’m free.
No longer must I languish in shackles, woe and anguish, and suffer slavery.

Recitative: Voglio provar, se posso sanar l’anima mia

It is indeed my purpose that I may be delivered from the arrows of Cupid, forever to be all fancy free, if I can arrange it! Else life would be heart-rending and a burden never ending. I have made up my mind, and I will not change it.

Aria: Chi in amore ha nemica la sorte

Foolhardy lover, truly Fate is thy master. Fond fool art thou who escapes not his net. Break your fetters and flee the disaster which your love unreturned will beget.


Tania Gabrielle French (b. 1963)
To the Nightingale
for tenor, violin, violoncello & harpsichord
Text by Anne Finch (1661-1720), Countess of Winchilsea


Johann Sebastian Bach (1685-1750)
Weichet nur, betrübte Schatten, BWV 202
Wedding Cantata, for soprano

Aria: Vanish now, ye winter shadows
Recitative: The world is dressed anew
Aria: Phoebus drives his horses prancing
Recitative: And then it is Love seeks his pleasure
Aria: When in spring the breezes blowing
Recitative & Arioso: When two pure souls are plighted
Aria: Oh, Maytime’s the gay time for cooing
           and wooing
Recitative: Inspired by purest love’s emotion
Gavotte: May you live in sweet content

Intermission


Johann Sebastian Bach (1685-1750)
Mer hahn en neue Oberkeet, BWV 212
Peasant Cantata, for soprano & baritone

Overture

 

Aria (duet):

The Chamberlain is now our Squire.

Recit. (duet):

Now, Molly, won’t you give me one nice kiss?

Aria (sop.):

Love’s a feeling hard to beat.

Recit. (bar.):

The Squire is fine, but what a devil the Tax Collector is!

Aria (bar.):

Mister Tax Collector, have a heart!

Recit. (sop.):

I’m sure of this: our Master is the best of men.

Aria (sop.):

Master, kind and true, we are all for you.

Recit. (bar.):

He helps us all, both young and old.

Aria (sop.):

Now that is well; let no one tell how thus the tax we’re shirking.

Recit. (bar.):

And too, our gracious Dame is not the least bit proud.

Aria (bar.):

Fifty dollars, ready cash, we have freely spent on this.

Recit. (sop.):

But listen now! Before we all go to the tavern affair.

Aria (sop.):

Our tiny city, is not it pretty?

Recit. (bar.):

That is too citified, and very much too clever.

Aria (bar.):

You take in your ten thousand ducats.

Recit. (bar.):

You all can bet that was the worst one yet!

Aria (bar.):

May plenty be such you’ll be laughing for joy!

Recit. (sop.):

Enough! We each have had our chance!

(bar.):

And now it is high time to dance; away to our good tavern!

(sop.):

Which means that we must sing together.

Aria (sop):

That all of you may know, the best part of this show is drinking.

Recit. (bar.):

My dear, you said it!

(sop.):

Since we have finished with the program here...

(bar.):

Well! May the Devil take me!

Ensemble:

To the inn away, where bagpipes play, hey diddle diddle!


Our Festival’s continuation of the celebration of the one-hundredth anniversary of the founding of the City of Newport Beach begins with this evening’s performance of Bach’s Peasant Cantata, in which citizens extol the virtues of their local leaders and offer wishes for their future well-being. We shall precede Bach’s product of civic pride with a jolly instrumental concerto and various thoughts about love.

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Heinichen concertos have been presented at our concerts beginning with our first season, offering not only American premieres, but according to Darmstadt’s librarian, the first performances from these manuscripts anywhere since the eighteenth century. This oboe concerto in G major, like the others, is played from an edition made from a manuscript found by this writer in the Archducal Library of Darmstadt in 1981. It reflects the composer’s thorough knowledge of the Italian style learned in Venice, where he lived and worked for some years after he had given up his practice of law in Weissenfels to serve there as court composer, then as opera composer in Leipzig (where as a youth he had attended the Thomasschule under Kuhnau, Bach’s predecessor), and then as composer to the courts of Zeitz and Naumburg.

The first movement is in the usual ritornello form, the orchestral theme of an upward octave scale recurring between playfully brilliant solo oboe passages. The slow second movement, in the relative key of E minor, allows some lyrical relaxation before the G major finale’s off-beat theme and exuberant Italian concitato passages (excitingly repeated 16th notes) in the strings. BACK

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During his lifetime, Bach was renowned as a gifted church musician and brilliant recital organist. Today, his fame rests on his staggering output as a composer: hundreds of church cantatas, masses, motets, oratorios, chorale settings, harpsichord suites, organ pieces, and concertos for various instruments. Surprisingly, this collection of serious masterworks is augmented by more than thirty secular cantatas in a lighter vein, three of which we hear this evening.

Bach’s only extant work with an Italian text, Amore Traditore (Traitorous love) for baritone and harpsichord obbligato, long assigned the Bach Werke Verzeichnis (catalogue) number 203, is not fully authenticated to be by him, but the harpsichord part makes a strong argument. It certainly is worth a hearing, and if the text is followed, can provide a few laughs about escaping the pain of unrequited love. BACK

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Tania Gabrielle French, a gifted American composer as well as the wife of violinist Clayton Haslop and the mother of their young daughter Clara, wrote To the Nightingale on commission from Festival patrons Jerry and Bobbi Dauderman “to honor Burton Karson’s eighteen years of dedicated service to the Baroque Festival Corona del Mar.” It first was heard in the Dauderman’s Newport Beach residence as part of our 1998 Winter Musicale, performed by tenor Mark Goodrich, violinist Clayton Haslop, and pianist Burton Karson. Its public premiere was on our concert of 22 June 1998 in Saint Michael & All Angels Church, with the keyboard part played by organist Thomas Annand.

This evening’s performance is the premiere of a new edition prepared for us by the composer, with the original keyboard part now for harpsichord and cello. BACK

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Bach’s Wedding Cantata, Weichet nur, betrübte Schatten, probably was written some time between 1718 and 1723, during his pre-Leipzig service in the court of Anhalt-Cöthen, where he wrote only secular music for a Calvinistic prince who needed no church music from him. A wedding cantata, as entertainment during the reception after the formal ceremony, normally mentioned personal aspects of the bride and groom. We don’t know specifics about this occasion, but the time evidently was spring, and we hear of the couple’s happiness, scenes of nature, and their supposed offspring as the flowers of love.

Listen for word painting; for instance, in the section “Phoebus hastens with swift steeds” the continuo figure rears and prances with wide skips in the bass line, and the horses gallop in fast 16th notes. This cantata for solo soprano and instruments must be one of Johann Sebastian’s loveliest and most endearingly romantic works. BACK

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The Peasant Cantata was written to celebrate the installation of Karl Heinrich von Dieskau, Chamberlain of the Saxon Court in Dresden, as Lord of the Manor of Klein-Schocher and Knauthain, near Leipzig. It was performed on 30 August 1742 for a festival at which the villagers pledged allegiance to their new Gutsherr. Dieskau was Inspector of the land, liquor and income taxes, while Christian Friedrich Henrici (aka Picander, who wrote this libretto as well as many others for Bach’s cantatas) was Receiver of the land and liquor taxes, and in all good humor referred to himself herein as the Tax Collector. His references to locals and political appointees certainly can be translated in modern times to citizens and elected and appointed officials in our town! BACK

Notes by Burton Karson

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